Apple Prepared To Fight Antitrust Charges

Unlike some of its publisher partners, Apple is ready to fight the DOJ’s antitrust charges -- and, it appears, relish the opportunity. 

“The DOJ’s accusation of collusion against Apple is simply not true,” Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said in a statement. “The launch of the iBookstore in 2010 fostered innovation and competition, breaking Amazon’s monopolistic grip on the publishing industry.”

According to AllThingsD: “Apple’s response is similar to ones made by Penguin Group and MacMillan, two of the five publishers named in the suit.”

As Penguin Group chairman and CEO John Makinson said a statement issued earlier this week: "The [DOJ’s] document contains a number of material misstatements and omissions, which we look forward to having the opportunity to correct in court.”

The three other publishers -- HarperCollins, Hachette and Simon & Schuster -- signed settlements with the DOJ immediately after the suit was filed this week.

“While half of the original group under investigation was quick to acquiesce to the government's terms, the remaining players are making it clear that they're ready to put up a fight,” The Verge notes.

“What’s probably most interesting here is Apple’s argument that it is using the App Store pricing scheme with ebooks,” The Next Web writes. “It would be hard to argue that developers and advertisers alike have profited greatly in Apple’s walled garden of the App Store, so it’s just as easy to argue that it’s the ideal model to take for iBooks as well.”

Meanwhile, “Legal experts have said the Justice Department is unlikely to win against Apple, noting that it has a better case against the publishers,” AppleInsider points out. “According to one antitrust professor, the government will need to show Apple ‘had some kind of involvement in the original arrangement’ to win against Apple.”

Whatever happens, as The Washington Post writes: “The case has the potential to dramatically shift the e-book market, and consumers will likely see prices of the electronic titles drop, as the three publishers who have settled … aren’t allowed to constrain retailer discounts for two years.”

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